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BMW 5-Series Oil Questions

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There was a TSB published by BMW and posted here in the Town Hall a couple of years ago that explicitly stated that the one-year oil change was no longer required. Some dealerships may still pay for it, but it is my understanding that most do not.

    As for the Oil Life Monitor (OLM), per the technical documentation that I've read on the subject, BMW uses one metric to determine when the oil needs to be changed, and one metric only. And that is? Glad you asked. Said metric is how much fuel has been used since the last reset of the OLM. Drive harder, do more cold starts, operate in extremely cold environments, drive only very short trips, and the OLM will call for an oil change rather quickly. Spend lots and lots of time on the highway in the 30+ mpg zone, and the OLM will call for an oil change that is well in excess of the target 15,000 mile oil change. A rather simple and elegant methodology don't you think? ;)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    Shipo,

    I'm sure lots of things are posted in this Town Hall. The FACT is that BMW's service manual still states a requirement to change the oil once per year. I cut and pasted that requirement from the 2008 5 series service manual in my previous post. Those are BMW's words. I have used that statement to request a free oil change several times. The service indicator is the primary measurement, but the 12 month option has always worked for me upon request. BMW NA ultimately pays for the oil service costs, not the dealership, so they don't care if they can bill it back to BMW NA.

    As for "how" the service indicator operates, if that's relevant, it takes into account more than just fuel consumption. It also measures conditions like engine operating temperature.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We're going to have to disagree on both of these issues.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,031
    As for "how" the service indicator operates, if that's relevant, it takes into account more than just fuel consumption. It also measures conditions like engine operating temperature.

    Sorry, Shipo is correct. The first generation SI system did take several factors into account, such as rpm, engine temperature, number of starts, etc. However, BMW's engineers discovered that simply measuring fuel usage is just as accurate as calculating oil life by measuring multiple parameters.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • qsamqsam Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 5 series I've had for 13 months with 16,000 miles on it. The mileage for an oil change just keeps extending out. It started out showing I needed one at 15,000 miles but now it's up to 18,500. When does this stop. Yesterday I got a message that it needs a quart of oil. I don't want to take it to BMW just to add a quart of oil. I've read so many posts showing different types of oil to use and I'm confused on what I need to put in the car. Can some one shed some light on the situation?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What type of oil? The short answer is any oil that is Certified to meet the BMW LongLife-01 oil specification.

    As far as specific oils, the three most easily obtainable oils that meet that spec here in the States are as follows:

    1) BMW Synthetic Oil (typically 5W-30)
    2) Mobil 1 0W-40
    3) Castrol Syntec 0W-30

    I've heard rumors that Valvoline has an oil that is certified to meet LL-01, however, I've yet to confirm that.

    A word of caution, some oil companies play fast and loose with the language on the side of their bottle and say stuff like "Formulated to meet BMW LL-01", however, just because it was "formulated" to meet the specification does not in any way indicate that it actually meets said spec.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • On my '08 530xi, the dealer did a free oil change at 12 months even thought the CBS didn't require it. I don't know if the indicator was reset. I had to add a quart of oil at around 6400 miles.

    Also, when my add coolant indicator came on a month or so ago I called the dealer and was told to bring it right in so they could top it off. They added the coolant, checked it out and washed it for me, N/C :) .
  • galamagalama Posts: 12
    I just got my 2002 530i and have no clue about the car. when i try to start my car i see oil service inspection yellow and red light for about 5-10 seconds and goes away. i can tell that oil has been changed becouse its not dark in color on my dip stick. how can i monitor my oil life and how do i reset my oil monitoring after cahnge. what oil should i use and how often i should change my oil. tx joe
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,031
    Assuming that the oil has been changed, whoever did it didn't know how to reset the system. Here's how to reset the Service Interval System:

    Ignition key in OFF position
    Press and hold the trip odometer reset button and turn the key to the accessory position
    Keep the reset button pressed for 5 more seconds until 'Oil Service', 'Inspection', or 'Reset' appears.
    Release and press the button again for 5 more seconds until the message flashes, then release.
    While the message is flashing, press the button again briefly to reset the SI.
    Successful reset of the SI will display 'End SIA' for about 2 seconds.

    The SI system doesnt monitor the oil directly, it actually measures how much fuel is used over a given distance. It's actually pretty accurate. If you change the oil when the SI system signals a change you will probably be changing it at @15,000 mile intervals. I'm not quite comfortable with that interval so I change it every 7,500-8,000 miles. It's a really easy DIY job; it takes me less than 30 minutes. I don't reset the SI system until it signals an Oil Service- otherwise it screws up the intervals for the other SI based services. You must sue an oil that meets BMW's LL-01 standard. The easiest oils to find that meet the standard are:
    BMW 5W-30 synthetic- available at any BMW dealer
    Mobil 1 0W-40- available at Advance Auto and Autozone
    Castrol Syntec 0W-30-also available at Advance Auto and Autozone
    Two other notes, you MUST change the brake fluid every two years using a DOT4 fluid, and you should also change the coolant every four years using BMW Coolant ONLY.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • galamagalama Posts: 12
    Thank you so much you have been a big help.
    Looks like i have a Hands Free link button and i cant get it to work. Is that bluetooth feature or in car TEL hook up? does anyone know i would love to set it up.
    I don't have book on it. And by the way i love my BMW. tx Joe
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,031
    I've never tried to hook or pair up a phone. Sorry I can't be of more help. You can get an owners manual at the dealer or off eBay. I'm happy to help, so let me know if you have any more questions.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • lovesbmwslovesbmws Posts: 1
    I am on my fifth BMW, my last one being a 540i 6-speed, and my current ride being a 550i 6-speed with the Dinan software. I had to add a quart of oil at around 1500 miles and another at 4000. The dealership says this is normal for the turbo models. From reading the other posts it seems that I am not the only one seeing this requirement. Are others with the newer turbo V8's seeing oil consumption like this.
  • bimmer4everbimmer4ever Posts: 1
    edited August 2011
    I had some research done lately about the tranny oil change. some said it is a life time no need to change, and some other said needs to change it once it hit the 100,000 miles mark, can someone please tell me the answer thank you!!!
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